Strategic Email Titling

If you’re like me, you don’t open every email that makes it to your inbox. There are just so many–from friends and family, from professors, newsletters I subscribe to, and junk mail from companies I use. How do I gauge what to open and what not?Usually by the title. Though it may seem like a thing of the past, email is still an important public relations and marketing tool. Choosing an engaging title for your email campaign can help boost the number of opens your emails get. MailChimp and WordStream both have helpful tips on how to be strategic when wording email subject lines. Here are a few highlights that can be helpful.

Three Words to Avoid

MailChimp recommends avoiding the words “help,” “half off,” and “reminder” as these words are widely used and are likely to trigger spam filters. I would expand on this to say use exciting, unique words that will engage your audience. “Immediately” has a stronger call to action than “now.”

Keep it Simple

WordStream points out that people are more likely to ignore emails with longer subject lines. Such emails might even get caught by spam filters. A simple subject is more engaging.

Aim for Arousal

It’s OK to craft your subject line to get an emotional response! Thinking of making your email subject funny? WordStream says go for it. It’s even ok to make it controversial. After all, the goal is to make the consumer open and read your email.

Formatting Matters

Don’t ignore proper grammar and formatting. You want to remain professional. WordStream has a nice list of additional tips for subject line formatting.

Put Yourself in the Recipient’s Shoes

MailChimp also provides a friendly reminder to think like the person you’re sending the email to. It may seem like common sense, but realize that your recipient’s inbox is just as flooded as yours. Make sure the emails you send are relevant and useful to the consumer.


2 thoughts on “Strategic Email Titling

  1. Brantly, this was a very interesting post! Especially for those that are soon to be involved with the social media or PR of a business. Getting those e-mails read are very important!
    I feel like we got some of these tips in one of our classes. Maybe Writing for Electronic Delivery? I can’t remember. Either way, thanks for giving an expansion of tips.
    I instantly agree with all of the points that you gave, but I don’t think I would have guessed to do this without them. It’s definitely a great list to keep around until you get the hang of e-mailing effectively.
    Thinking about this in my own life, it makes sense, as well! I rarely read e-mails with long subject lines or the “avoid” words. And if it’s not interesting or professional, I usually nix it, as well.
    Thanks for sharing!!


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